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Four Dead After Car Plunges into Creek in Astoria

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TWC News: Four Dead After Car Plunges into Creek in Astoria
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Four people are dead after the car they were driving in plunged into Steinway Creek in Astoria, Queens, late Friday night.

Police say the car's 20-year-old driver, Andrew Gramm, escaped and was being treated in stable condition at Elmhurst Hospital.

The four passengers – Darius Fletcher, 21, Jada Monique Butts, 19, Crystal Gravely, 19, and Jaleel Feurtado, 20 – were pulled from the vehicle by rescue crews after the car plunged into the water near 37th Street and 19th Avenue. Authorities were alerted to the accident by the driver, who called 911 after he escaped from the vehicle.

Police said the four victims were in cardiac arrest after being pulled from the water, and were all pronounced dead after being transported to area hospitals.

Authorities said the vehicle, a 2009 Honda Accord, was traveling west on 19th Avenue when it jumped the curb and rolled over into the water.

Authorities say the driver was not intoxicated at the time of the crash.

On Saturday, police continued to determine the cause of the crash while DOT worked to replace the guardrails. The NYPD pulled the car out of the water and transported it to another location to study it.

Family and friends were inconsolable Saturday when they traveled to the site of the crash.

The visit prompted more questions than answers.

"How did they even get down to even get this far, how did that even happen? This is a block that no one would ever be on," said a friend.

"I just want to know what happened," said Bashira Horsham, the mother of a victim's boyfriend. "It's sad that she had to go like this, but for this to happen to her, it's very, very, very sad."

"Good kids, college kids all of them," said Vern Feurtado, father of Jaleel.

Friends say the group was traveling from a birthday party for Gravely, whose birthday would have been Saturday. They also said they were close friends, all from the same tight knit neighborhood in East Elmhurst.

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